Spiritual Sundays

April 11th, 2010

My friend Susan of A Life of Grace did a blog post about a blogging theme called Spiritual Sundays. I need all the help I can get to draw nearer to the Lord and keep my mind on Him, so joining in a special Sunday meme is a great opportunity.

One verse that has often helped to quiet my heart in difficult times is found in Psalm 37:1, “(A Psalm of David.) Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” Verse 3 directs further, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”

The thoughts I take from this verse are:

  1. Nothing good will come from focusing on all the bad things that happen in this life. It’s OK to be aware of evil and to fight against it using godly means, but to fret about it will be hurtful.
  2. As I trust the Lord for my spiritual welfare, it is His will that I trust Him also for guidance and protection when evildoers trouble me or others.
  3. By God’s grace, I will ask Him for wisdom in difficult situations.
  4. By God’s grace, I will focus on Him, not on circumstances.

How about you, dear blogging friends? Would you like to participate in Spiritual Sundays, too? Just read about it and link up at Charlotte and Ginger’s Spiritual Sundays site.

Random Dozen

April 7th, 2010

Thanks to Linda from 2nd cup of coffee for this meme

1. Define a great relationship.

For a relationship to be truly great, there has to be an underlying unity – in spirituality, in morality, in interests, in goals. It’s possible to be kind and loving towards many different kinds of people, but to have mutual give-and-take of love and friendship, there must be a foundation of unity.

2. Why is it called a “drive-through” if you have to stop? (Real question: What was the last food/drink you purchased at a drive-through?)

I’m partial to the taco salad at Taco Bell, but after watching Food, Inc. recently, I may swear off all fast food (especially the meat).

3. As I type this, the Butler Bulldogs are getting ready to play in the NCAA championship game. Every Hoosier is hysterical about this except me. So in honor of the Bulldogs … what is your favorite breed of dog? (I tried.)

We had a wonderful dog years ago which was a Newfoundland/German Shepherd mix. That’s my favorite “breed” so far.

4. If you had to move to a state besides the one you currently live in, where would you move?

Sometimes my husband and I say that “someday” we’ll live in a camper van and just travel the entire U.S. Who knows?

5. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

I am from a dysfunctional family, but I like the person I am now. Though life was scary, it helped to make me the person I am today. However, I wish my younger sister and brothers had been safer from harm.

6. Who’s the funniest person you know?

My children can really get me laughing. Hmm. Difficult to narrow it down to one person.

7. Did you get enough sleep last night?

I’m blessed to be able to fall asleep easily, and fall back to sleep easily. I think it’s due to all the practice I had caring for our children when they were babies. I do enjoy staying up too late, so I probably didn’t get an optimal amount of sleep last night, but it was enough.

8. What’s the first thing you thought about this morning?

Making the coffee!!!

9. Grilled or Fried? –HONESTLY

Definitely grilled, especially if my husband is the one doing the grilling.

10. Are you afraid of the dark?

Yes. We live far enough out in the country that on rare occasions mountain lions and/or bears wander around. I don’t want to be out in the dark with a possibly mean critter sneaking up on me.

11. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a mommy, and I’m so thankful that I got my wish! I gave parenting my all, and am happy with the results so far.

12. If you had one word to describe yourself, what would you choose?

LOVE: I am loved, and I love.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

March 30th, 2010

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…March 30, 2010

Outside my Window…evening dews and damps: a typical Pacific Northwest spring night.

I am thinking…that maybe I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been tired of hearing myself talk. Well, I feel selfish just reading others’ blogs and not blogging for such a long time, so here is a post!

From the learning rooms…Daughter Rebecca successfully presented her senior project paper this evening to a panel of judges from the community. It was based upon research she did for her medical tech prep class at the hospital.

I am thankful for…another birthday for daughter Debra on Monday. Happy 20th, Deb! We had a quiet celebration here at home, which brings me to the next entry.

From the kitchen…It’s our custom to have the birthday person choose a favorite meal and cake. Debra chose lentil soup for dinner, and then German Chocolate Cake for dessert. Here’s the soup recipe:

Lentil Soup
(modified from Lentil and Sausage Soup Recipe found at www.supervalu-ourownbrands.com)

1 pound lentils, washed and drained

12 cups vegetable broth

4 cups sliced leeks

3 cups chopped carrots

3 cups chopped celery

14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Early in the day, or the day before you wish to serve the soup:

Place washed lentils in the broth and bring to a boil. After boiling for a few minutes, turn off the heat, cover the pan and let sit for an hour.

Later in the day:

Cook the lentils about an hour until tender. Add all the remaining ingredients, and simmer until the lentils are as done as you like them.

We like this soup with shredded cheddar cheese and saltine crackers.


I am wearing…still need to wear a sweater and warm leggings, but warmer days will come.

I am reading…just finished reading a favorite Georgette Heyer historical novel, Devil’s Cub. She excels in her character studies, and fills her books with such characters!

I am hoping…to work out in the garden again soon. Weeding of the flower beds has been done a couple of times, but now Rebecca and I want to plant a few things, such as some lavender and something daisy-ish.

I am creating…or plan to ‘create’ a large batch of cinnamon rolls to take to church Sunday morning for our church breakfast.

I am hearing…my husband on the phone to one of our oldest sons. It’s a blessing that they stay in touch.

Around the house…The lawn has been mowed once already this spring. Things are looking greener every day.

One of my favorite things…is being with my family at home.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Tomorrow evening I serve as a judge of Senior Project presentations at the high school. April 1st is my birthday (no joke!) and daughters Rebecca and Lydia have plans to help me with extra housecleaning as a present. I love it! Friday we have a church service, and the Lord’s Supper.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This is daughter Laura and her husband Darren with their three little ones, Diederick, Carly and Koen. Deeder was being a little grump, but, oh, well!

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

March 16th, 2010

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…March 16, 2010

Outside my Window…nighttime, breezy and a brisk 46 degrees.

I am thinking…it’s too late to be blogging, but I’m doing it anyhow, after playing all my ‘Scrabble’ moves on Facebook, and reading everyone else’s news.

From the learning rooms…I owe sweet rolls to some of the students with whom I work for earning perfect scores on their math work. This is quite an accomplishment for kids who have trouble learning.


I am thankful for…my daughters doing the dishes tonight, even though they are busy, too.

From the kitchen…I made homemade whole wheat bread tonight, and Lydia made some delicious no bake cookies for dessert.

I am wearing…jeans and a cozy sweater top.

I am reading…recently finished reading The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer. I learned a lot about William the Conqueror who became King of England in 1066. I had to move out of my ‘comfort zone’ to read a book so full of bloodshed and human suffering. Perhaps the fact that one of my favorite authors wrote the book helped me to stick with it.

I am hoping…to feel better tomorrow, as I’m finally sick with the cold and sore throat that’s making the rounds of our family.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the jingle of a kitty’s bell as she runs around upstairs.


Around the house…a forsythia bush is planted, and two box bushes. My friend who has a small nursery business will have lavender for sale soon, which I want to purchase and plant as well.


One of my favorite things…is relaxing at the end of the day by playing word games such as Scrabble online.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Tomorrow I’m going to an awards ceremony for two of our high school girls. On Thursday our youngest son has AAU basketball practice, and on Friday his choir travels to be judged on their performance.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This family portrait is about three years old now. Guess it’s time to get another one done!

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

March 6th, 2010

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…March 6, 2010

Outside my Window…Though it’s a chilly 36 degrees outside, I see a cheery robin hopping about, looking for his breakfast. There’s a gentle breeze trembling the new leaves of the wild plum bushes, and, best of all, BLUE SKIES!

I am thinking…that it’s much easier to compose a blog post in Word, but I will have to wait for one of my computer-savvy sons to set this up for me again. We had to reinstall Word, and now I’m quite inconvenienced. 😛

From the learning rooms…I have been learning more about the life and times of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, who successfully claimed the English throne in 1066.

I am thankful for…Such a beautiful day, and a little extra time off from school for the children (and me, too!). Our high school sent both boys’ and girls’ basketball teams to the State competition, so all students had Thursday and Friday off to accommodate all the families who attend the State competition.

From the kitchen…I won’t be cooking dinner tonight, since we plan to go out to one of our favorite restaurants tonight, the North Fork Brewery. Those who stay home will have leftover Tortilla Casserole. I prepared both ground beef and vegetarian versions of that dish last night.

I am wearing…jammies (lazy morning).

I am reading…The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer. What kind of woman was a perfect match for such an indomitable man? Read this interesting, fast-paced and historically accurate novel to find out.

I am hoping…that grandchildren Diederick, Carly and Koen are getting over their bad colds, and that their mommy Laura is feeling better, too.

I am creating… this blog post.

I am hearing…Seth and Debra watching an old episode of Chuck on the computer. I enjoy watching the show as well, which is a sort of combination of Get Smart and Mission Impossible.

Around the house…Daughter Rebecca and I did some weeding, and Seth pruned the apple trees, so the yard is looking better. It is high time for the first lawn mowing of the year to happen, but the mower hasn’t had its cleaning and tune-up yet.

One of my favorite things…is a quiet morning at home.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Since I’m posting this on Saturday, what can I say except I’m looking forward to Sunday School and church on Sunday, and to seeing daughter Lydia, who has been at State with friend Courtney and her family.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This photo of Lydia and Seth is fairly recent. This past Monday, Seth turned 14; Happy Birthday, Seth! 🙂

This photo of Seth was taken 13 years ago. As you can see, his computer literacy began at a young age.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

February 15th, 2010

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…February 15, 2010

Outside my Window…It’s dark and rainy just now, but earlier while walking the dog, daughter Rebecca and I noticed that Spring is very nearly here. The most noteworthy sign was the neighbor’s deep red rhododendron – in bloom!


I am thinking…that a lazy day every once in a while is quite nice. I spent much of today reading, which doesn’t happen too often.

From the learning rooms…Well, I learned a new word today: ‘dysphemism’-Words or phrases that are more harsh or vulgar than the original word or phrase, such as ‘kicked the bucket’ instead of ‘death’.

I am thankful for…talented folks who take the time and trouble to write good books.

From the kitchen…today Lydia baked some killer Snickerdoodles. Yum!

I am wearing…aqua sweater and jeans.

I am reading…Today I reread The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer. She is so much fun, an author who was a great ‘people watcher’ no doubt, as was Jane Austen, but less serious than Austen.

I am hoping…to get the house cleaner before we are hospitality hosts after church this coming Sunday.

I am creating…just this blog post.

I am hearing…computers humming.

Around the house…Signs of Spring are everywhere. Still no camera, so no recent pics, but little violets are blooming, and many trees are budding. I especially noticed weeping willows, forsythia and wild plums today.

One of my favorite things…is a quiet day at home.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…There will be the usual work at the middle school, driver’s ed for Lydia, and possibly going to the adult family home to visit my mom if I for sure don’t have the cold that’s going round our family.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

These baby girls are now 25 years old! Daughters Laura and Sarah just celebrated their birthdays last week. Happy birthday, girls. 🙂

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Ten Favourite Free Things meme

January 23rd, 2010

Ten Favourite Free Things:

My blogging friend Linda of Simply Living Modestly tagged me for this meme. She has lots of great ideas for getting back to basics in homemaking, so do please check out her blog.

  • I enjoy taking the dog for a walk, especially if one or more of the children accompany me.
  • Going to the library is another favorite free activity.
  • Taking the time to prepare a wholesome, delicious meal isn’t exactly ‘free’, but it’s much cheaper than going out to eat.
  • I enjoy playing card and board games with the children.
  • I enjoy listening to my husband talk.
  • I enjoy going sailing with my husband, if the weather is warm!
  • I enjoy the creative things the children do, such as drawing, painting and singing.
  • Interacting with friends on Facebook and through blogging are favorite free activities.
  • Playing with my grandchildren is fun and free.
  • Reading is great. Lately, I am really into wanting to read all of Jane Austen’s books.

There you have my list. I would like to tag my friend Susan of A Life of Grace to be the next participant in this meme.


Simple Woman’s Daybook

January 11th, 2010

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…January 11, 2010

Outside my Window…It’s soggy. We are currently on Flood Watch due to the heavy rains which are expected to continue for the next few days. This uber wet weather is typical winter weather for us in the Pacific Northwest, but the warm temps (currently 48 degrees this evening) contribute to the snow melt which adds to the river water volume.

I am thinking…of going to bed as soon as this post is finished.

From the learning rooms…It was lovely to hear how well two sixth grade clarinet players did on their duet today. They’ve just started learning the piece for Junior Solo and Ensemble.

I am thankful for…our cozy home, and health and well-being for loved ones.


From the kitchen…Due to the crazy schedule this afternoon and evening, we just had sandwiches for dinner.

I am wearing…comfortable clothing. I especially like long sleeves that are long enough to cover my wrists. I just feel warmer that way.

I am reading…Madensky Square by Eva Ibbotson. I don’t enjoy her quite so much as Georgette Heyer, but this book has snagged my interest, so I plan to keep reading, even though the book I requested by Heyer is in at the library!

I am hoping…my elderly mother receives the financial aid she will need very soon. I plan to turn in the paperwork this week.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the old doggie going upstairs. She believes it is time for bed, so will no longer lie by me here in the study.

Around the house…all the children have gone to bed. Smart kids!

One of my favorite things…is playing the spelling game Lexulous on Facebook. This is one reason I am up so late.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Our youngest son has lots of basketball practice sessions this week, and then a tournament in Seattle on Saturday and Monday. Excitement!

Our daughter who is doing Medical Tech Prep finds out if she is accepted for the second semester, which involves “externships”, this week. This would be a wonderful opportunity to begin working in medical settings in the community.

Here are some picture thoughts I am sharing with you…

Grandson Diederick and granddaughter Carly are having a splashing-good time in this photo snapped by their mommy.

Here is Carly snuggling little brother Koen.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Beautiful Blogger Award

January 6th, 2010


I was recently awarded the
Beautiful Blogger Award
by my friend Vivian of My Cards & More.


The award comes with the following responsibilities:

1. I must thank the person who bestowed this honor upon me. (Thanks so much, Vivian!)
2. Copy the award and place it on my blog.
3. Link to the bestower’s site.
4. Enumerate seven interesting things about myself. Here they are:

  • If my husband and I had met in high school, we would have been in separate social groups. I was a quiet, geeky girl, and he was one of the popular athletic guys. Thankfully we met in our mid-twenties, and were able to appreciate one another!
  • The concept of time travel fascinates me. Maybe that’s one reason I enjoy historical fiction and stories set in other eras, such as Jane Austen’s books, and those by Georgette Heyer.
  • I always have a few books to read at the same time, so I can grab the book that fits my mood, whether it be a recipe book, book on a health topic, historical fiction, young people’s literature, etc.
  • We don’t have a TV, though we do watch videos on the computer. When the children were little, we didn’t even do that. It was so calm and quiet, and I got to read lots of wonderful books aloud to them!
  • Six of our children were born at home, one naturally in the hospital, and our twin girls were surgically delivered by C-section. I much prefer natural birth to surgical, as the recovery is almost immediate.
  • We have home schooled, private schooled and public schooled our children. Our oldest child was home schooled until he started college at the age of 16, at which time he excelled, and continues to excel. There were good reasons for the other forms of schooling, though, and we found that “one size fits all” isn’t true in education.
  • I detest horror and violence in movies and books. Really, if I’m going to take the time to read a book, I would like a happy ending, if you please. There’s enough sorrow in the real world without wallowing in it in books and media.


5. Nominate seven bloggers that I find beautiful:

  • Mary of Work of the Poet. Mary is a friendly and talented person who hosts a meme called Ruby Tuesday. Once I get my camera situation under control, I’m going to participate. Mary and I enjoy sending post cards to one another.
  • Tamy of 3 Sides of Crazy. The crazy thing about Tamy is how much energy she has. She develops delicious recipes of her own, participates in several memes, and writes about such things as travel, remodeling projects, and elder care.
  • Melanie of New Creation Cottage. Melanie writes conversationally about her day-to-day life, including her travels, and accompanies this with great photos.
  • Madeleine Kane of Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. Mad is super smart, and super funny. She can get me laughing like no one else. If you’re feeling creative, you can join in writing limericks to prompts that she suggests.
  • Laura of It’s Life According to Laura. Laura is one of my daughters, mommy to three young children. Cute photos of the kids adorn her blog, but best of all are the funny accounts of the kids’ antics.
  • Another very talented blogging friend is Barbara of A Day In My Life. Her entire family is musical; she enjoys scrapbooking and displays some of her work in her blog. She is also my friend on Facebook, and almost impossible to beat at spelling games. I do enjoy trying, though!
  • Nancy of Soliloquy has a photography and poetry blog which is mainly about gardening. What can I say but, “Beautiful!”

 

Thank you all, including Vivian, for being Beautiful Bloggers!


 

Simple Woman’s Day Book

January 4th, 2010

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…January 4, 2010

Outside my Window…is typical Pacific Northwest winter weather: rain. It’s not too terribly cold – 38 degrees – and there’s a wonderful freshness to the air, mixed with the aroma of wood smoke.

I am thinking…this is my first post for the New Year and the new decade. I wish you a Happy and blessed New Year! We stayed up late playing games as a family, and then ran outside to shout, “Happy New Year!” at the proper moment.


From the learning rooms…I want to brush up on world geography. The sixth graders with whom I work are my inspiration; some of them are excelling at this.

I am thankful for…another year to be alive, in the company of my loving family and friends. I want to spend the year well, to God’s glory.

From the kitchen…I have a new favorite cookbook, Simply in Season: A World Community Cookbook
by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. Here is the most recent recipe we enjoyed from it:

Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls

1 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour (I used white because I didn’t have whole wheat.)

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

 

Combine in a large bowl.

 

1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed

1 cup milk

¼ cup butter

 

Combine in large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and mixture is warm. Add to flour mixture. Beat with mixer set on low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture is all moistened, 1 to 2 minutes.

 

1 large egg, beaten

 

Add and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.

 

2 to 2 ½ cups bread flour

 

Stir in enough flour by hand to make dough easy to handle. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 7 to 9 minutes (or 5 minutes if your mixer has a dough hook). Place in greased bowl, turn to grease both sides, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough and divide it in half. Roll each half of dough on lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle.

 

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

 

Brush each circle with 1 Tablespoon butter. Cut into 12 wedges and tightly roll up each wedge from wide end to point. Place crescent rolls, point-side down, on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.


 

I am wearing…dark red sweater top with striped collar and cuffs, black long-ish skirt, and black leggings. Cozy attire.

I am reading…Venetia by Georgette Heyer. This may be my favorite historical fiction (Regency period) piece by this author, to-date.

I am hoping…to write blog posts more frequently, while still keeping a focus on good meals and baking on the home-front.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the hum of the computer. The children are quietly going about their business (studying, showering, reading) upstairs.

Around the house…It’s soggy outside, and the river waters have risen. Everything is looky pretty squishy.

One of my favorite things…is quiet time at home at the end of a busy day. I want to read a bit more of that book I mentioned earlier, in just a little bit.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…We are waiting for our van to be repaired. The gas pump (which is located inside the gas tank) went out while some of the children were driving on a busy highway. Thankfully, they were able to pull over safely, the tow truck came, and we transported them safely to their destination. What makes gas pumps go out, I wonder? Bad gas, possibly? This is the second time this has happened.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This is granddaughter Claire, who is 4 1/2 months old.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!